Hindsight is one of those beautiful things. Things always look great in hindsight. Or at least that’s a little white lie that we lead ourselves to believe. Not everything looks great in hindsight. Abuse is awful in hindsight.
Unfortunately, I don’t get that happy, wistful look when I talk about my childhood. Sure, I have some good memories. They’re just very few and far between.
One thing that I have very few positive memories of is school. I was bounced from school to school up until I was in the third grade. I remember actually enjoying school up until I was in first grade.
I went to a head-start program. I remember enjoying that, and preschool and kindergarten. I went to a school when I was in the first grade that I remember liking. They met my intellectual needs. After a year there I was taken from that school and thrown into Catholic school.
For some reason, after that moment, I think I just got bored.
That’s one thing I don’t think anyone ever really realized about me… I felt constantly bored at school. I didn’t feel like I was learning anything. I have always read well above my level, going as far as reading Hamlet when I was in fifth grade. I told that to a sophomore English teacher and she told me that there was no way I could have understood it. That was like a slap in my face. And I told her as much. At the end of that year, the same teacher said that I was a scrambled genius. I impressed my freshman English teacher by reading James Joyce.
I often wouldn’t read the books we were supposed to read for class because they were boring. I hated more young adult books for the same reason. I thought they were patronizing.
And than there was math.
This is something that I can’t explain. I have difficulty actually doing well in a math class. For some reason, the second I get into a math class I just don’t do well. When I took my junior college’s math assessments, I tested well above what everyone thought I could. I tested straight into Statistics, Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus. If you were to ask my math teachers in school where they thought my math level was, they would say that it was average at best.
Yet, when I took college math classes, I even confused the instructors. They all knew that I understood it and could do it, but the didn’t understand why I couldn’t pass the class. The problem is, by the time I got to college I had a tremendous case of test anxiety that only applied to math… and because the bulk of your grade comes from test scores… I think you can see where I’m going with this.
As I look back on it all now, I realize that I think I was bored in school pretty much the entire time I was in school. They never marked me as a gifted child, even if I was gifted. For whatever reason, I was overlooked.
So, what does that mean?
Maybe I might be better off if people came to realize that I wasn’t average. I might have finished my college degree and maybe gone on to be a criminal law lawyer or a doctor or gifted actor. I could what-if this to death. Instead, I’m going to move forward and realize that while my story sucks, it’s made me want to fight back harder for what I should have.